In the hoops version of the 2017 Rocky Mountain Showdown, the Colorado Buffaloes (6-1) rallied late but fell to their in-state rival, Colorado State Rams (4-4), 72-63. The difference on Saturday morning was the rebounding, CSU dominated CU on the glass, finishing +14.
After a somewhat even first twenty minutes, the Rams blew things wide open in the second half. CSU would eventually take a 17-point lead with 7:20 to play until heroics from one of Colorado’s newcomers made things interesting.
An 11-0 run in a 1:27 span, all by Buffs’ freshman point guard McKinley Wright IV brought Colorado racing back and gave CU a chance to win. Wright finished with 19 points on the afternoon, marking four of the first seven games that Wright has scored 19 or more. The Buffaloes cut the deficit to four but couldn’t find enough in the tank to make it all the way back.
Led by guards Prentiss Nixon and J.D. Paige, the Rams defended their home floor. Each poured in 16 points a piece and were aided by 10 points from forward Che Bob. Despite not making a field goal for the last 7:40 of game time, it was the first time in five years that the home team won in this series.
Next up for CSU are two tough road games. First, on the road at the Arkansas Razorbacks (5-2) on Tuesday, December 5th. Then, to Eugene for a matchup with the Oregon Ducks (5-3) on Friday, December 8th.
The Buffs now enter a crucial part of their non-conference schedule as well. The New Mexico Lobos come to Boulder on Wednesday, December 6th in one of the most important games the Buffs will play before the calendar turns to 2018. Then, on Saturday, December 9th, CU travels to play the (#21/#20) Xavier Musketeers.